English version below
Monteverde is a lovely district of Rome, located on the top of one of the many hills on which Rome was founded. As the universally-known story says, the main ones are seven. Monteverde, which literally means “green mountain”, isn’t part of them, being outside the very centre, nonetheless is not far from them and it’s a comfy, well-connected area to explore the city. The district is basically divided in two – a modern area, and an older one, chosen in the 19th Century by the bourgeois to build their elegant, high-class houses, still visible today. It’s nice to have a stroll here, and pretend to live back in the 1880s. The area is extremely quiet and relaxed, and it makes a good location for a sunny, early-Spring Sunday afternoon walk with your friends or your special one. Besides, it’s not far from the Gianicolo hill and Trastevere: try not to forget about it when you book your hotel or B&B.
Down in Monteverde Nuovo, the modern part of the area, there is this pizzeria, Pianeta Pizza, that became quite a favourite among the locals. The entrance says it all – ALTA DIGERIBILITA’, it reads: you don’t need to show a master in Italian language to understand that it means HIGH DIGESTIBILITY, and you don’t need to be a graduate in Italian gastronomy to get that this is one of the main criteria to evaluate the quality of the dough (and this is, incidentally, one of the criteria WE use as well). The reason why it’s so important to write it in such big letters on the door is here explained: high digestibility pizza is the fruit of a slow, long leavening process, that turns out in a fluffy, light dough, with large “holes” (a condition called alveolatura in Italian), and where no trace of yeast is perceivable. Slowness is an essential element in Italian traditional cuisine: just think that ragù, the super-famous bolognese meat sauce, should cook for at least four hours! Unfortunately modern life pace is somewhat hectic, and be aware that even for pizza, year by year, shops are expanding, but few of them show respect for their dough, leaving it to sit the right amount of time, waiting for it to give off its full flavour and aroma. Luckily, Pianeta Pizza is one of those. The leavening process here lasts 48 hours, two whole days: a fair one. And the result is there for their devoted fans: a thin, crunchy, tasteful pizza.
We especially love the ripiena one, a pizza bianca cut right in the middle, with some luscious filling like our fav, stracchino e ciauscolo. A creamy cheese like stracchino and a soft sausage like ciauscolo, both coming from the North of Italy, can be considered a bizarre duo in Rome, yet together make one of the most heavenly combos on earth. A real treat!
If all these softness and creamy-ness and sweetness have bothered you and you need a boost to your soul and stomach, then head to the South of Italy and try a ‘Nduja supplì: sweet rice and tomato combine well with the bright red, spicy Calabrian specialty. Here the flavours are manly, strong, a little exuberant, like we expect Calabresi to be. And it’s nice, we guess, to taste in Rome something that it is geographically so far: it’s a food-tour, all in one shop!
Pianeta Pizza offers you also the right location to fully enjoy your slice: don’t you think it would be nice to seat under a Roman pine, in a big park, where a nice pic-nic seems almost mandatory? Well, you have it! Villa Doria Pamphili is the largest villa in Rome, a former private residence that the Pamphili family donated to the city of Rome in the 70s. Since then, it is often frequented by joggers, dog-sitters, pic-nic-ers and any sort of people. Join them, but don’t forget to bring along a refreshing drink, especially in summer: the heat is Rome can be unbearable!
The perfect soundtrack: sweetness and substance live side by side in Kathy’s Song by Apoptygma Berzerk, the ideal companion for a light pizza with cheese and salami.
Pianeta Pizza Highlights: pizza ripiena with stracchino e ciauscolo.